Page 5 - Work Force July-August 2016
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  In unions and in service, no one should be left behind
Unions and veterans organizations have a lot in common when it comes to taking care of those who have served, either in the armed forces or in civil service.
Part of this comes from their similarities as organizations. Both are honor-bound to look out for their members’ best interests.
Veterans’ and public employees’ experiences within the entities they serve show similarities, too. There is training involved, sometimes intense, and different levels of responsibilities that come with experience.
Leaving either type of service presents similar challenges also. Will veterans receive the care they deserve, and will civil servants have a decent retirement and health insurance after years of service?
July-August 2016
For these reasons, it’s clearly important that unions — particularly public employee unions — continue to be strong, grow and serve our communities.
CSEA’s recent Never Quit campaign is bringing a new focus
to the union to hear what members have to say about our union, our workplaces and our concerns for the future. The effort echoes what is often heard on battlefields: no one should be left behind.
Just as a military organization often moves as a single force that can adapt and overcome challenges as the field of battle changes, so too do unions need flexibility when threatened by those who would prefer we perish as organizations seeking fairness and respect for workers.
Either way, the tactic is the same: strength in numbers and making sure everybody takes care of each other. An example of this is our union’s recent legislative victory that will allow military veterans to buy back up to three years of pension credit for time served in the armed forces. Many CSEA members were instrumental in helping get this legislation passed.
There are other examples, such as the Union Veterans Council, which brings union members who are veterans together to speak out on the issues that impact veterans most, especially the need for good jobs and a strong, fully funded and staffed Veterans Administration.
“The issues facing veterans and those facing working families aren’t independent of each other — a lack
of good jobs, attacks on health care and fading dreams of a better life impact each one of us. Stand with those who’ve fought for us,” is part of the Union Veterans Council’s mission.
“Additionally, we hold private enterprise and elected officials accountable for their words and actions. We believe wholeheartedly that the ability for someone to self-identify as “pro-veteran” isn’t determined by what lapel pin
they don or what catchphrase they employ; veterans face real issues that require real actions — constructive actions that lead to positive solutions,” the council states.
Much of the same can be said for unions.
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